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- Analogue Mixing stage
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Interview with Victor Rice
Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
i mixed a record for Brazilian singer Tulipa Ruiz. and it won the latin grammy for best Brazilian pop record in 2015 :D
What are you working on at the moment?
this week i'm working with Kika, a Brazilian singer i am producing for my label, Total Running Time.
Analog or digital and why?
both. digital for the convenience and flexibility, analogue for the sound.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
that their music will get a clear, round mix - no hype.
What do you like most about your job?
i like hearing new music every day! and i really like when the clients come back.
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
how long does it take? i like to take a day per mix, that's ten hours.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
that i do mastering. my mixes will need mastering, as i do not 'do loudness' nor 'brightness'.
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
what work did you hear that made you think i may be right for your project?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
please check my work, my mixes are subjective. i work a lot on the tuning, timing and general tightening up of the performance, which makes the actual mix much easier. i don't work to a grid, i work to the drums. my work is consistent, so most folks know right away if they want me or not.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
mac pro(loaded), metric halo uln2+dsp, grado headphones, ssl g384 mix compressor.... and wifi?
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
got my masters degree in orchestral performance(bass) and continued studying on bass guitar after that, mostly jazz and reggae. played with ska bands in NYC in the '90s, produced records for Moon Ska and Stubborn Records. about a dozen records before i ever saw a computer! then i got into post-production for TV, mixing, sound design, learned that end and was able to pay for school :) moved to São Paulo, Brazil in 2002 and worked in studios here until i could finish my own mix room in 2010. mixing is now about 80% of what i do(still performing) - no more TV stuff, just records.
How would you describe your style?
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Marcia Griffiths. I got to remix a track with her voicer and she still sounds amazing and writes beautiful stuff.
Can you share one music production tip?
turn the volume down when you're working. that goes for the musicians as well as the engineers!
What type of music do you usually work on?
Reggae, other types of dance music. lots of Dub remixes, done manually(live) on the analogue desk. here's my remix channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/bassie417
What's your strongest skill?
tuning and vocal processing in general. working with acoustic instruments. getting things to sound natural.
What do you bring to a song?
musical and acoustic clarity. '70's sound.
What's your typical work process?
The mix routine includes tuning and other editing in Melodyne, noise reduction with Izotope Rx and then to editing in Logic. most of the work is done at the digital desk, then summed to 12 outputs directly to the hardware compressors, then to the mixer. by the time the mix is in the analogue world, i have done my best to remove the types of frequencies and transients not found in a tape recording.
Tell us about your studio setup.
Logic on a Mac, Metric Halo converters(16 OUT). great selection of hardware compressors. mix desk is a humble Allen & Heath MixWiz 16:2 used as a summing box, i guess. faders are flat and i use the compressor volumes to get the mix. coming in 2017: Ampex ATR 102 tape machine for mixdown!
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
massive attack will always have a place in my heart and on my playlist. Rudy Van Gelder, Brian Eno... Tchad Blake is a hero, as is Steve Albini for different reasons.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
mixing, mixing, mixing. also lots of remixes.